- V LISTEN!
I Pew, rock ’n’ roll. A converted church in Hyndland is the scene for a new music show from BBC Scotland. No Stilettos (the title ‘comes from the old Glasgow ballroom phrase “No stilettos on the dancefloor’" says a helpful Beeb man) is a live music show to be ﬁlmed between Saturday 3 April and Wednesday 7 April, with transmission to follow in May. Hosted by Eddi Reader, the ﬁve shows will feature a star- spangled galaxy of top recording artistes, to wit: Aztec Camera, Lemonheads, World Party. lan McNabb, American Music Club, Pulp, Trashcan Sinatras and The Jayhawks. Oh. and that bunch of has-been old duffers, Swayed. More top celebs are to be conﬁrmed. Turn to the competition page in this issue for details of how to grab yourself some freebie tickets and join this heavenly throng. Alive and kirk-ing.
I the Velvet Underground. a band almost as seminal as Swayed. are playing the Edinburgh Playhouse on June 1 and 2. No other UK dates are as yet conﬁrmed. Do you think it will sell out? Answers on a postcard to ‘The Beatles To Play King Tut‘s’ at the usual address. I Praise Ii. hoots the aforesaid Ms Eddi Reader as divine good taste guides Wamers offshoot blanco y negro to sign her up. Aye, just two issues ago this very organ was celebrating Eddi’s place amongst the great and the good of the Scottish cultural landscape. whilst lamenting her occupancy of a label-less limbo- Now all is well and
we can expect more spirited free-spirit vibes from Eddi in the autumn. I the Venue in Edinburgh launches a series of monthly seminars with an introductory meeting in The Cooler on Monday 5 April at 8pm. The plan is for guest speakers from the Musicians’ Union and the PRS, A&R bods and technical types. lawyers and managers and so on, to dispense pearls of rock 'n' roll wisdom to bands, thereby facilitating their progress to greatness and fame. Indispensable and free. Be there.
I iiel Will not trad old rockers shocker! in his contribution to Rolling Stone '3 1992 poll, Justin Currie chose Sonic Youth’s ‘Theresa‘s Sound World’ as his fave song from l992. Almost as surreal as fellow Glasgow West Enders The Soup Dragons getting Best New lntemational Band . . .
Norman Chalmers previews The Edinburgh Folk and Harp Festivals.
The Edinburgh Folk and Harp Festivals sport new directors this year, each cheerfully dealing with problems of sponsorship, and the recession‘s effect on ticket sales generally.
The Harp Festival’s Shonagh Irvine is not worried. ‘This is the twelfth Harp Festival, and it has grown all the time, especially over the last three years. Our classes and workshops are heavily attended, and in some cases completely sold out, which is very healthy although we’re at the point of outgrowing our venue at the Pleasance — every room is used, and some events have had to be moved elsewhere. But having it centred in one place means that everyone meets, performers are also tutors or give workshops, participants in classes also see their teachers on the concert stage but they realise that this stuff ’s not being handed down from Mount Olympus — informal music is always breaking out. it's probably the only harp festival in the world where there‘s this wonderful personal contact.
‘Every year there's an international element, and this year l'm looking forward especially to Rudiger Oppermann’s group, and his somewhat experimental music on the electric harp; but at the same time I think the opening event we’re putting on jointly with the Folk Festival is a superb concert of exciting traditional music with Ireland’s Dordan, Alasdair Fraser and Sileas.’
The Folk Festival‘s Jack Evans has gone for a consolidatory approach. ‘I suppose the main difference from
previous years is in the perspective. We’re trying to build the Festival up again from the grass roots, rather than from major concerts downwards. We are trying to make the Festival — which is a special event as folk festivals go, in that it’s ten days long, and very accessible from anywhere in the country, with a very wide range of events - more demand-led; for instance, we are responding to the big rise in popularity among all ages, but especially among the young, for dancing, traditional Scottish, ceilidh dances, whatever you want to call it, and we’re putting on a dance every night for the ten days, bringing bands from all over Scotland. Only yesterday a woman rang up to book forty tickets for the one on the opening night!’
The noticeable burgeoning of interest in tuition and workshops on traditional instrumentation and music has led to the organisation this year of many more classes, mainly put together by the indefatigable ALP team of enthusiasts and educators. Especially welcome is Alasdair Fraser’s ﬁddle school, which comes to Edinburgh for the ﬁrst time. A brilliant musician, and the most complete Scots ﬁddler, Fraser is also a committed communicator. running very successful Scottish ﬁddle schools annually in California and Skye. Jack
looks forward to his involvement, ‘There‘s been a lot of demand for the courses, and that means a lot of musicians around, which creates a great atmosphere; and I like Alasdair’s attitude to the music, and in a way it's representative of most of the performers and players who’ll be coming this year, in that they’re not the sort to do their bit on stage and then pack the instruments away. They’d- much rather carry on — get into sessions, play with other musicians instead of heading straight to the bar. Scarp, for instance, are insistent that they’ll play all the time, anywhere,just point them in any direction, and the Festival‘s job is to create the circumstances for these sparks to ignite. ‘I feel that folk festivals are changing, becoming more diverse, and though we’ve got a concert of great traditional, unaccompanied ballad singing, we‘ve got lots of bands new to this Festival, and groups that ﬁt in the much wider deﬁnition of what‘s currently happening. Even the Festival‘s daily newsletter’s got a new title, “Drop the Dead Folkie".'
Edinburgh Harp Festival. Pleasance Theatre and Queen '3 Hall. Fri 2— Wed 7. Edinburgh Folk festival. Teviot Row and Queen's Hall. Fri 2—Sun I I. See
nom- Slip Slide
For someone who has been there, seen it and done it all in the recording stakes, former Slide guitarist Grant Richardson is still remarkably optimistic about the future.
Slide was the Scots act feted, hired and fired by Phonogram even before the band managed to climb out of its infancy. The next big thing out of Scotland was not to be, and at the end of last year, Richardson set about the task of recreating himself as a multi- lnstrumentalist and songwriter lnstd of the next Paul Kossoff.
‘The initial euphoria of working in Slide were off as time went on,’ Grant recalls. ‘Vle were very young when we signed up and I found myself constricted by what other people
:ihxpectl ed of me, you know, the blues “93
Slide died a quiet death in contrast to their meteoric rise, at the end of lastyear.lt’sbeenthebestpartofa two-year silence for Richardson. ‘I was glad when it all ended,’ he
confesses. ‘Worklng on my own has its advantages and I am now answerable only to myself. i play everything on these new demos We finished. I think I’d be foolish to disregard the possibility of moving back to a band situation, but I enjoy this feeling of freedom.’
Richardson has been hiding away in a local recording studio with only 24- track gear for company. The business is sniffing around again as he takes his new act onto the gigging circuit. ills new avenue of expression will probably please Slide fans but Grant is ‘golng back to his roots’.
‘The rock vein that was so overbearing with Slide is not all important to me,’ he says of his new material. ‘lt’s there but I’ve gone back to listening to Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook - the soul giants. l’ll lve it up to the audience what to make of lt.’ (Alan McCrorle)
Brant Richardson plays Glasgow King Tut’s on Sunday 28 March, with Better Wm
23 The List 26 March—8 April I993